DAVE TULL — Texting and Driving (review)

DAVE TULL — Texting and Driving album cover Album · 2018 · Vocal Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
One of the big differences between the world of pop vocals and jazz vocals is that while the pop artist tends to use his voice to express his own thoughts and feelings, the jazz artist quite often applies their voice to a ‘standard’ composed by someone else, and for good reason as many of these standards are of a high standard and it is hard for almost any vocalist to come up with something of similar caliber that is original. Up and coming jazz crooner Dave Tull, looks to be one to break that stereotype as his new album, “Texting and Driving”, is all original material that holds up well against any of the known standards.

Dave’s specialty is witty lyrics and this album is full of future classics that often contain ‘laugh-out-loud’ insights that will have you spinning these tunes over and over. The album’s title track is a good example as Dave lampoons the self-absorbed phone obsessive who feels compelled to share every moment of their life with the world. Tull has a wonderfully rapid diction and his witticisms come spilling out at a dizzying pace which only adds to the overall hilarity. Other gems include songs about modern parents who don’t mind their kids and conversations with people whose name you can’t seem to recall. On “The Date”, Tull shares the mic with Cheryl Bentyne as their enter-twining voices reveal conflicting opinions about a first date. Dave is a funny guy, but never glib or overly silly, fortunately this is not Al Yankovitch territory. Dave also doesn’t mind changing things up now and again with a true tale of romance, or a song dedicated to his own children.

Dave is often backed on here by a powerhouse big band, and just like the best albums by Sinatra and Oliver Nelson, nothing comps jazz vocals as well as a big band does. Dave is also an in demand drummer for many artists, and he mans the skins on this album too. I’m not sure if he was singing and playing at the same time on here, but that would be quite the impressive fete if he did.
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